Archive | December, 2011

I have *just* the gift for you.

30 Dec

What? It's just a foot spa.

Backstory: I live below an otherwise nice guy (Matthew) who makes a ridiculous amount of noise. I’m convinced he and his partner (Jack) actually stable a horse and lead it from room to room with bowling balls dragging behind it periodically. Did I mention that they have hard wood floors?

The following is a transcript from my chat with Alan this morning.

Alan:  hi there! how was yoga this morning?

me:  great! matthew helped ensure i made it by firing up the stomping machine around 5am.

Alan:  i guess he’s good for something once in a while

Alan: maybe we should have gotten him and Jack christmas presents – like weight loss videos?

me:  or amputatations  😀

Alan: do they have gift certificates for that? or would we just offer to do an amateur job for them?

me:  give them a wood chipper

Alan:  nice

me:  and tell them it’s a foot spa!

Alan:  maybe we should have gotten them really big, fluffy slippers with super-padded soles

me:  filled with razor blades!

Alan:  okay. we’re not going the compromise route this morning. I get it. 

The History of the Word.

29 Dec

"I talk funny? YOU talk funny."

When I was little (and I mean really, REALLY little), I struggled to pronounce my S’s. The less sensitive readers among you might even call that struggle a Lisp. Oh, I never had to attend speech therapy, and no one ever nicknamed me Thindy Brady, so it all turned out fine. Actually, you wouldn’t even know it had happened, were it not for my nickname: Wis.

Or potentially the fact that my blog is named PithyPants. When in fact, my pants are more often dotted with… nevermind.

That’s right. I couldn’t say my own damn name right. Instead of Alison, I was Awison. Which, cutely, got shortened to Wis (which – coincidentally? – rhymes with piss). And my sister? Alicia? Became Aweeta. And thus her nickname – Weet – was born.

To this day, we’re known to our immediate family as Weet and Wis. It’s a comfortable name and not anything I think about, until I refer to myself in a story as “Aunt Wis,” (which is how my nephews know me) and I find myself explaining the whole etymology of the name to a stranger. Sort of like this.

Ironically, the first time my eldest nephew heard someone say, “Alison” while I was home, he looked around in confusion and said, “Who?” then completely cracked up when I responded. It was the best joke he’d ever heard. He couldn’t fathom that my real name was anything other than Wis.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I received a thank you note from my youngest nephew, with the best opening line ever:

Now I bet you’re wishing YOU had a cool nickname like Wis. Sorry, it’s taken. It’s mine. And you know…

I’ll be back.

BTW – can someone tell me why that Corgie puppy on the stationery is using a pillow like a yoga bolster? 

Crust be with you. And also with you.

24 Dec

I’m mildly obsessed with efficiency, so it’s not surprising that the madness surrounding the holidays – all the people and all the lines – brings out the worst in me. Fortunately, it brings out the best in others, or I would’ve found myself in a real pickle this morning.

My parents sent me to the grocery store to pick-up a last minute item, and I located it quickly. But then, when it came time to pay, the checkout lanes were overflowing with people. I looked down at the single item in my hand and then – miraculously – spotted an opening in the self-checkout area.

I bolted for it, just beating out a slowly moving couple headed in the same direction. Triumphant, I scanned my pie crust, thinking I’d model efficiency for everyone standing behind me. Except, just after the scanner registered my item, I realized there was already a PILE of groceries sitting in the bagging area.

About that time, a guy came over and said, “Hey there! I’m almost done,” not realizing that I’d already scanned my item.

I fell over myself apologizing, as I pointed to the screen. “I’m so sorry, but I think it already scanned it…”

He looked, and – sure enough – my pie crust was among the forty other items he’d rung up. “I’ll get a cashier to come void it,” I suggested. He glanced at the line forming behind him.

“Nah,” he said. “Forget it. It’s Christmas. Your crust is on me. Merry Christmas!”

And Merry Christmas to you, sir. Or – as I’m going to start calling December 24: Crustmas.

When life resembles a cartoon…

24 Dec

Last weekend the weather was gorgeous, so I set out on a walk to get a bit of exercise. About two blocks south of my house, I slipped on something and almost fell. It happened so suddenly, I grabbed at a wrought iron fence to keep my footing, which explains how I didn’t end up completely biting it, but instead walked away with a significant bruise on my forearm.

Being across the street from the dog park, I mentally cringed as I turned to see what I had stepped in, imaging a pile of dog crap with a a footprint impressed in the middle of it. Instead, I found a smeared banana.

Yes, a banana. The fruit part. Not the peel. As if someone had peeled a banana and the banana fell out onto the sidewalk, and they just shrugged and kept walking. (Or, perhaps it was deliberate, and they were hiding in a nearby bush with a FlipCam.)

I stood there for a full minute with my mouth agape. I thought this only happened in the cartoons. Specifically, to Wile E. Coyote. Not to a human, and definitely anywhere but (potentially) in the produce aisle of a supermarket. Not on an urban street in the middle of December.

Having had a week to reflect on it, I’ve decided that – like how it’s good luck when a bird poops on you – slipping on a banana is a good omen for the year ahead. Because otherwise? I’m going to waste a lot of time looking out for the RoadRunner.

Next time, I'll be prepared.

Wart: that’s such an ugly word.

21 Dec

Wart = Bad. Warthog = Better. Proof that bacon makes everything better.

Monday, for the first time in a long time, I headed to the pool to swim some laps. I’m pretty sure I pulled or tore a muscle in my shoulder at yoga last Thursday, so I was viewing the pool as “physical therapy” without a co-pay.

Unfortunately, I’m slightly out of practice, so when I got there I realized I hadn’t brought flipflops. Might seem like a minor detail, but when you’re swimming at an old public inner-city pool (that smells more like urine than chlorine), flipflops are actually clutch.

I sat down on the lockerroom bench and emptied my bag out, hoping that somehow, a microscopic/expandable flipflop was hidden in there. Even if there was just one – I was willing to hop. No dice. So I had to make a decision: walk the bare floor anyway, for the sake of a workout (aka physical therapy), or throw in the towel and return home?

Actually, lava would be preferable.

I decided to go for it. And as soon as I put my foot on the nasty tile floor, I swear I could feel plantar wart spores attaching themselves to the ball of my foot, much like how parasitic worms burrow through skin in Third World countries. Ack! 

When you think microbes are leeching onto you, you can’t help but look odd. And I did.

I came bursting out of the locker room like my ass was on fire and canonballed into the water faster than a fourth grader, but the real oddity came after showering, when I stood on the bench (as opposed to the floor) to dry off and get dressed. Which might not seem that weird until you realize that I was essentially putting my naked lady-parts directly at eye-level with everyone else in the locker room.

Even more awkward? In an attempt to explain why I was playing “The Floor Is Lava,” to a fellow swimmer, I pointed down and said, “I don’t want to get warts.” Only to realize that it might not have been clear that I was pointing at my feet.

I think I’ll stick with yoga.